Dominion Energy has struck a deal to expand its footprint in South Carolina, just as the Virginia-based energy giant attempts to buy one of the Palmetto State’s largest power providers.
Dominion will buy and run Fort Jackson’s electric system over the next half-century as part of a $142 million deal, the utility announced Monday.
The deal gives Dominion another local foothold as it tries to persuade S.C. regulators that it should be allowed to buy SCANA, the Cayce-based utility for sale after it ran up nearly $5 billion in debt for a failed nuclear construction project.
Dominion already owns and operates a natural gas pipeline in South Carolina. The utility will begin operating Fort Jackson’s electric system in April 2019. Buying SCANA would give Dominion another 1.1 million electric and gas customers in South Carolina.
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Fort Jackson is the U.S. Army’s largest training base, training more than 36,000 soldiers a year. It covers about 81 square miles just east of downtown Columbia.
The federal government previously had run Fort Jackson’s electric system. It now is being privatized in a move to cut costs, Dominion spokesman Dan Genest told The State.
Dominion has similar contracts with eight other military bases, including Fort Hood in Texas.
“The contract ties in well with our existing gas transmission and renewable energy projects in South Carolina, as well as our proposed merger with SCANA,” Genest said.